Saturday, May 6, 2017

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 11 Chapter 4/5

The Newspaper of August 12th
Translator: Skythewood
Editor: Darkdhaos, Seir K

The next day, August 11th, noon——

Regis walked on the street in female attire like before.

He wore a leather hat that resembled that of a reporter.

Besides him was only Bastian, wearing his sunglasses like usual.

As it might get dangerous, he didn’t want Elise to follow them. Furthermore, they had a guest from the south coming this morning and she was to receive them.

A girl shrouded in mystery. She could speak fluent Belgarian without any accent and make High Britannian cuisines—— she probably had her own secrets.

“This is the place.”

Bastian pointed out.

This was the mansion of Chief Chamberlain Beclard.

Even in this area reserved for the residences of nobility, between rows of mansions, this one loomed over them with its sheer magnitude and spear-like fencing.

Two heavy armoured infantry guarded the main gate and there were about a hundred soldiers patrolling the grounds. There seemed to be soldiers inside the mansion too, the security was unbelievably tight.

And from the emblems on their armour, they weren’t part of the Imperial Guards or police, but the First Army—— the unit under Latreille’s direct command.

Prince Latreille knew that Marquis Beclard was a pillar of his legitimacy, and also his crucial weak point. It was only natural for him to guard his cornerstone.

Bastian scratched his head as he overlooked the mansion.

“It would be great if they would let us in after I state my name…”

“That probably won’t work with you being his political enemy. And furthermore he knows you are a liberal.”

“Is that so?”

“The plan remains unchanged.”

Regis and Bastian approached the main gate.

And of course, the heavy armoured infantry pointed their spears at them.


Bastian smiled and showed them his empty hands.

“Ahh, don’t worry. We are not any suspicious characters.”

Suspicious characters wouldn’t say that either.

The soldiers didn’t let down their guard and held their stance.

“Who are you?”
“I am the Third Prince Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria.”

Bastian, introducing himself and removing his sunglasses, made the soldiers panic. Being part of the First Army they knew the royal’s faces.

“M-My apologies, Your Highness!”

They retracted their spears and let them pass—— Not.

The soldier didn’t give way.

“I beg your pardon, Sire! Our orders are to stop anyone without permits from passing through this gate!”

“I expected as much. Please show this to Marquis Beclard. You are not going to tell me you won’t allow a letter to be sent right?”


If it wasn’t for Bastian’s name they wouldn’t even think about it.

But they couldn’t ignore a letter from a royal after all.

It would be hard to tell how they would react if they were just some regional soldiers from the boondocks, but soldiers garrisoned in the capital were civilized. And if the guards of a noble knew etiquettes, they would treat the letters from royals with care. Or at least, they wouldn’t do anything rude.

The soldier received Bastian’s envelope.

“Understood Sire, I will deliver it.”

“My thanks.”

The letter was sent to the mansion.

Regis and Bastian waited right there under the watchful eyes of the soldiers.

Regis was nervous, worried that he might get exposed when Bastian suddenly whispered into his ears:

“It’s fine right?”

“P-Probably? We should have come in the evening… Maybe my makeup is too light…”

“Hey, what are you worried about? I’m talking about getting into the mansion.”

“Ohh, ah well, that shouldn’t be a problem. We also prepared two backup plans, but they seem unnecessary now. After all, if he is bold enough to ignore us after seeing that, he would have left the capital long ago.”

“He might be old, but he still served as the Chief Chamberlain of the Emperor?”
“... It is clear by inspecting his accomplishments. He excels in his ability to observe subtle mood changes of the late Emperor. That’s why I judge that we should work on him first.”

“Is that so?”
There were others involved in Latreille’s assassination of the Emperor. It wasn’t a coincidence that they started here.

Shortly after, a butler came to the gate from within the mansion and spoke quietly to the guards.

As they predicted——

The soldiers granted entry through the main gate.

The butler with his perfectly waxed hair walked over, and said politely:

“Pardon me. I am Marquis Beclard’s butler. You must be Prince Heinrich Trois Bastian de Belgaria. My Master requests for your permission to grant him a meeting.”

“Since he invited me in, it would be a shame to turn him down.”

Even though he himself wanted to enter the mansion, made so much preparation and came here personally, he still acted so arrogantly. As expected of royals.

The butler glanced at Regis.

“And this young lady is…?”

With his disguise on, it was only natural to get his gender wrong… But did he really look so young, Regis wondered. No, even if he got addressed as ‘Madame’ instead of ‘Young Lady’, it wasn’t something to be happy about.

Bastian shrugged.

“She’s my friend. She wanted to meet Beclard, so I brought her along. Well, it’s fine if you don’t let her in.”

Regis bowed politely.

He then introduced his fake persona based on his alias.

“I am a reporter from Weekly Quarry, Regina Ottoman.”

The butler’s eyes twitched. Seems like the letter was working.

“... I see… Please come in——”

They were ushered to a living room with plenty of high class furniture.

Bastian sat on the leather couch.

“I wasn’t bothered by this at all in the past.”

“In reference to what?”

Regis’ gaze was completely drawn in by the books arranged on the shelves. Most of them were untouched and used for decoration, but there were rare books that couldn’t be found in bookstores.

“I mean such extravagance, which I really despise right now. If all these things are converted into money, how many commoner’s school fees could it pay for? Well, as a guy who fled from my home teacher multiple times, I think it’s too late for me to say this.”

“...Prince Bastian, it is never too late to start in life.”


“The human brain will continue to grow no matter how old you get. Be it memory or calculation speed, after training it into a habit, everyone can do it.”

“Isn’t it often said that old people tend to be forgetful?”

“Leaving illness aside… This is because people gradually don’t mind forgetting things as much, and their tension tends to fall. For people working with a lot of things to remember—— for example, merchants or butlers, research tells us that their memory doesn’t differ too much at each age group. Instead of age, the performance of individuals is the biggest factor.”


“If you regret not learning something in the past, you just need to start working hard on it now. It is never too late.”

“Ahh, that’s right. I heard something similar, but about muscles not deteriorating with age if you keep the training up, even if you already passed your best years.”


“If you start training now, you should be able to wield a sword decently.”

“No… For me… It isn’t about age, but a matter of individual performance…”

“What, you are giving up on yourself?”

“... If I would delve into swordsmanship practice, I wouldn’t find the time time to read books right?”


The master of the mansion appeared with a knock on the door.

Regis already saw him at the Founding Day Festival, but he appeared to have aged quite a bit since then.

The man lowered his head.

“It’s been awhile, Prince Bastian.”

“Ahh, you are alive and energetic as always, Beclard.”

“The newspaper just now… The one Your Highness brought with you…”

He placed the item in his hand onto the table.

It had crease lines from being crumpled, but it was undoubtedly a weekly newspaper prepared by them.

Weekly Quarry Year 852 August 12th

The Emperor was assassinated!?

This rumor had been circulating from the very start. Many of the Emperor’s maids and servants had been dismissed, and either died from accidents or went missing. And every single one of them is still uncontactable which is quite unusual.

And the only information leaving His Majesty’s chamber was the news of the suicide of Imperial Consort Johaprecia supposedly in order to not leave his side even in death, given by Prince Latreille’s physician. Not even her own physician was allowed to investigate her cause of death and was denied entrance to the chamber.

This horrendous act of disrespect led to the deterioration of relations with the Estaburg Kingdom, the home nation of the Imperial consort. Despite this catastrophic diplomatic fallout, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Military Affairs Ministry and the Ceremonial Ministry all refused to give us a comment on this.

So the only accounts about that incident were given by the courts and if you choose to believe them, His Majesty had already passed on when Prince Latreille entered his chamber.

To get a second account of the incident, we conducted an independent interview, and finally obtained a testimony from someone with a neutral position within the courts.

According to Chief Chamberlain Marquis Beclard’s testimony——

When he entered His Majesty’s chambers, he witnessed the Prince standing in a pool of blood with his sword drawn.
What really happened in there, what exactly is the truth then!?

August 13th will be Prince Latreille’s coronation, the time is near.

We hope that until then, those in the courts could clarify the circumstances of this shocking rumor before the new Emperor takes the throne in order to put the citizens at ease.

With the blessing of god, we hope that a just Emperor will be crowned.

“What’s the meaning of this?”

Beclard’s voice was trembling spitting the words through his clenched teeth.

Bastian shrugged as if this had nothing to do with him.

“It’s nothing much, I just brought it along since you might be interested since this is the newspaper that will be published tomorrow.”
“How is this possible! These are just fictitious lies!”

He even omitted his honorifics, and his words turned crude.

Everything was going according to plan.

Regis nodded:

“... Pardon me.”

“What the hell are you even doing here!? Is this the time for a woman to speak up!?”

“... I am Regina Ottoman… A reporter from Weekly Quarry. This is my employee pass.”

Although this was made haphazardly by the chief editor this morning.

Beclard’s white hair was a mess as he roared:

“So you are a part of that trashy third rate newspaper!? Don’t think there won’t be consequences for doing this!”

“... Personally, I am more worried about Marquis Beclard’s perilous position.”


“... People who read this article will think you provided the information, Marquis.”

“Impossible. Why would I leak this info!?”

“... You think Prince Latreille will believe you? Really?”

“Of course!”

Beclard said that so intensely that his face became twisted.

Bastian sneered:
“Are you serious? You took so much bribes, even bro had to give you money. You think he would trust you one bit?”

“Ugh… T-There’re no bribes…”

“You are still insisting on this now? I know plenty of people you had solicited bribes from though?”

They got this info through Fanrine and Carol’s intelligence network.

There were plenty of people who gave bribes, however that wasn’t about trust at all, but about gaining his favor.

Regis did his best to say in a calm tone:

“... Prince Latreille has an aggressive personality. He definitely won’t spare any traitors.”

“I am not a traitor!”

“The one who will decide about that isn’t you, but Prince Latreille.”

“H-How could it come to this… But I didn’t do anything!”

“That may be true. Just like the fact that your actions so far inevitably resulted in no one believing you anymore.”


The need to use such a man to legitimate his claim to the throne was Prince Latreille’s weakness.
He was too hasty in forcing a checkmate.

Using chess as a metaphor, the check came too early, thus they had enough time to avoid the mate. That was the situation right now.

Regis wouldn’t let this chance slip away.

The irrational order for Altina’s unit to attack a fort, and the attempted assassination of Regis—— Their opponents didn’t pull their punches at all, it didn’t make sense for them to show any mercy when they were so close.

Regis said firmly:

“Prince Latreille will dispose of you. He will send you to some place far away under the pretense of retirement, and you will meet a fatal accident along the way… How many servants do you think got killed by this plan?”

Beclard’s face turned green.
As if a sword was held against his throat, he kept trembling.

“I-It can’t be helped. If I refuse, I will be killed too. B-Believe me, Prince Bastian! I served your father for 40 years! Faithfully!”

“You mean enriching yourself and abusing authority for 40 years? I will be direct—— If you are a just man, then the Empire wouldn’t be in such a messy situation.”

“How could that be!?”

“Honestly speaking, I’m not interested about what will happen to you. Well, I will leave the rest to Regina. If you don’t want to be murdered by bro, then listen to what she says.”

Beclard looked at Regis with pleading eyes.

Regis didn’t like someone corrupted by greed either… But it would be terrible if Beclard got killed by Latreille.

“If this goes on, the Empire will be led down a despairing war path. To avoid that, I hope you can help us.”

“C-Can you guarantee… the safety of my life and fortune!?”

—— Fortune?

He is still worried about his fortune at a time like this?

“I made preparations for you to leave the capital… But we can’t bring too much luggage. Wouldn’t it be better to leave them here and survive?”

“U-Ughh… Guu…”

Beclard groaned.

After muttering to himself for some time.
“I understand… I will help you. I will forfeit… a part of my fortune then.”

“... I can guarantee your personal safety. A carriage will arrive in 30 minutes, please have the preparation to leave done by then.”

“W-Wait! Carriage!? That’s impossible!”
He looked outside the window grudgingly.
“The soldiers aren’t just here to protect me… but also to stop me from escaping.”
“That’s true.”

“You got another idea right!? Some sort of backup plan right!? A strategy of some sorts!”

“Don’t worry, I made arrangements.”
However, Beclard still covered his face with both hands.
“Ahhh… It’s no good after all!”

What was it now?

“I have a granddaughter… living in another house. I can’t abandon her and flee by myself…”

“We did investigate that side too. You didn’t bring it up earlier, I was wondering if you are concerned about her at all.”

“I don’t want that child to be implicated.”

“... Well, in that case—— instead of wealth, you should increase the number of comrades you can trust.”

“Ughhh… There are also soldiers sealing that house off. Do you really have a plan?”

Regis sighed.

“Seems like I have to count on you.”

He said looking to the side where Bastian stood up from the couch.

“Leave it to me! How many soldiers are there?”

“According to the servants that frequent there, there are about ten heavy armoured soldiers keeping watch in that house.”

“Give me about 10 minutes to get it done”

“Sorry that you have to take such risk.”

“Are you kidding me? I won’t even break sweat for just 10 of them.”

“Please be careful anyway.”

“I do understand the dangers, don’t worry. I won’t ever let my guard down again.”

In order to get Beclard’s granddaughter out, Bastian confirmed where that house was from the windows in the corridor, then calmly walked over.

Beclard returned to his study room.

Regis followed him since. It was meaningless to stay in the living room anyway.

He stuffed documents from his vault into a travel bag whilst the butler quietly helped him from the side.

“Damn it… damn it… Why do I need to…!?”

“... Title deeds huh. If you run, Prince Latreille will freeze your assets though?”
“They’re hidden under different names! Money locked in vaults is worthless, it yields no interest. Money has to flow to bring in benefits.”

“I agree with your assessment.”

Regis picked up a contract that fell onto the floor.

“This is… a loan to a merchant?”

“To increase one’s wealth, the best way is to loan it out. The money I loaned to merchants amounts to more than the Emperor’s fortune!”

“Even though this money is obtained through bribes?”

“A lot of people started business with this money, or expanded their store. Isn’t this a charitable work!?”

“Instead of Chief Chamberlain, maybe you are more suited to be the Finance Minister.”

“Don’t be daft. What’s so good about increasing the country’s wealth? I’d rather increase my own wealth! What are you doing!? Put that bundle in another bag!”

“... Eh?”

“You said you will stop the Empire from heading down a warpath right!? Someone capable of that can’t be just a reporter!”


He was unexpectedly calm. When Beclard was involved with things related to money, he was full of life.

“No matter what the circumstances, money is the most important thing!”

“... Hah.”
“There is no pretty or dirty money! I promise you a share of everything that we can save! So pack it in quickly! The carriage will take this with us right!?”

“Hmm… Well, Prince Latreille will just use whatever we leave here anyway.”

A bag full of money wasn’t worth much for a large organization, but a bag full of title deeds would be a different matter.

Maybe they could receive aid from the merchants who improved their livelihood with his loans——

“Get out of my way——!!”


The soldiers screamed.

Bastian stated his name, but none of the guards heard him.

Because he had them all knocked out already.
He already decided to not hold back and even kill if he needed to protect someone, but he would avoid doing so, if it wasn’t necessary.

He kicked open the locked door and strolled into the house.

“Hmm, where is she? Damn, I already forgot her name... Hey, uhm granddaughter? Answer if you hear me——?”

He walked down the hallway until he heard singing from behind a door.

He called out first, but after waiting for a reply which didn’t come, he kicked down the door.

“Hey, are you the granddaughter!?”

A woman about 20 years of age was inside the room leaning against the grille window and singing with a sharp voice.

She was a beauty, even though her nose resembled Beclard a little.


She smiled upon seeing Bastian.

“Ara, Papa, are you looking for me?”

——Hey hey.

“Erm… Are you Beclard’s granddaughter?”

“Grandpa is here too?”

“We are leaving right away, pack your things. We won’t be coming back again, so pack them thoroughly.”

“Aha! Are we going out? Okay——!”

She only had a teddy bear in her hands——

A lot of citizens gathered outside the mansion in the meantime.

“Hey, explain this news to me!” “Get the Marquis out here!” “He’s hiding in the mansion right!? Get out here now!”

The newspapers in their hands were similar to the one Regis showed to Beclard, with the testimony that Latreille assassinated the Emperor.

When they saw the report, the soldiers lost their aggression.

They still didn’t let the citizens enter the grounds, but hesitated about using force to disperse the angry crowd.

They could emphasize with the angry citizens, since they also hoped for someone to clarify the circumstances—— This thought lingered in the air.

They swore fealty to Prince Latreille after all, and now the Chief Chamberlain testified that the Prince assassinated the Emperor. It was a grave matter.

One soldier yelled:

“The Marquis didn’t leave the mansion! No reporters passed this entrance! Back off now! This must be a misunderstanding!”

“Are the missing maids still around then!?” “Is the incident with the 6th Consort’s physician a lie!?”

“No idea! Go ask the Ceremonial Ministry and the press about that!”

“If that is the case, then Beclard is unforgivable!” “That’s right!” “Drag him out from that mansion!”

They showed no fear even with the spearheads pointed at them. They seemed to be genuinely enraged.

It’s no surprise that the soldiers got intimidated by the mass of infuriated people.

At this moment, a carriage rushed onto scene.

“Make way make way! This is the Imperial First Army! No mercy will be shown to any who blocks our path!”

It wasn’t a military carriage, but they still roared as they chased off the people in their path and approached the gate.

The soldiers recovered and chased off the gathered citizens with their spears.

The carriage came to a stop right in front of the gate.

The driver leaned out.

“Orders from the top, we are to bring Marquis Beclard to the Le Branne palace!”

“Is that the Field Marshal’s orders!?”

“No, it’s the chief strategist’s!”

The driver proffered a parchment after saying that.

The commander of the guards took the parchment. The written orders didn’t even have a wax seal, but it did have Germaine’s signature.

Judging from the current situation, the outraged citizens might swarm in. So the chief strategist wanted to take the initiative?—— At least that was the commander’s interpretation.

“Right! Open the gate! Be  careful not to let anyone else slip in!”

The gate opened, and the carriage quickly moved inside the fenced area.

As if he just remembered something, a soldier asked:

“Why isn’t it a military carriage?”


“Why use a normal carriage?”
“This is arranged by the chief strategist, I don’t know why either.”
“... Is that so?”
The carriage passed through the gate, and steered along the driveway leading to the entrance——

As Prince Bastian was also on the carriage heading towards the palace, the soldiers didn’t question them.
The citizens swarming the mansion also played an important part, as shooing them off already took all they had.

Inside the carriage——

Beclard’s granddaughter sang happily which would be nice and all if it wasn’t the wrong time to do so.

She would squat them when she spotted flowers, and disappear if you took your eyes off her for a moment. Thanks to her, Bastian looked exhausted.

“Hah… Bringing her to the carriage is more tiring than fighting the soldiers…”

Beclard kept his head down and additionally wore a black hood to keep people outside from seeing his face.

“W-What’s with this commotion? Has that newspaper already been published?”

“Those gathered here are the friends of a certain Madame.”

Bastian knocked the seat on the carriage as if he was trying to drown out Regis’ words.
“But really now! The soldiers actually granted passage to the carriage!”
“Indeed… Why did the soldiers let the carriage through?”

Beclard was equally confused.

Regis wanted to scratch his head, but that would mess up his wig, so he placed his hand back onto his knee.

“... Erm… Because I made a written orders to ‘Bring Marquis Beclard to the palace on Lord Germaine’s orders’.”

“Can you please stop joking around. Leaving militia from the boondocks aside, why would an officer from the Imperial First Army be deceived by such an order?”

“Haha… This the First Army’s bad habit… Field Marshal Latreille’s orders are always sealed with wax and handled carefully. However, Lord Germaine issued many orders on his behalf too. There was also an incident where he mobilized units by his own discretion.”

“Latreille trusts his subordinate and permitted him to do so, but Lord Germaine’s orders were unexpectedly informal. It even reached the point that it would be accepted if the signature seemed to be genuine.”

Beclard tilted his head.

“What is going on? You forged a written order? That isn’t…”
“It’s not some amazing strategy right? I merely kept a copy of the orders I received from Lord Germaine, and mimicked his signature. I even knew what pen he used. If I get aid from friends in the press, making this is easy.”

“You actually…!?”

Beclard was shocked while Bastian laughed.

Regis shrugged.

“I almost got killed by them… taking some souvenirs in return isn’t too much.”

Beclard finally looked at him seriously for the first time.

“W-Who are… you…?”

“Haha… Although I’m dressed like this, I’m actually Regis d’Auric. I’m not with my unit right now, but I’m Princess Argentina’s strategist.”

“The Fourth Princess’ strategist!?”

“Well, the only faction that could stand against Prince Latreille would be her.”


“Ah, and of course, this carriage won’t be heading to the palace—— Huh!?”

When they were about to leave the mansion grounds, the carriage suddenly slowed down.

The driver opened a small window and said:

“Boss! There are troops!”

Regis poked his head out the carriage window and looked forward. And so did Bastian.

Beclard held his granddaughter close, but she didn’t react to the situation at all, still singing songs at this inopportune timing.

Knights formed up in front of them, as if they were flooding the roads. There were about 300 cavalry with their standard held up high.

“... Aren’t that the White Hare Knights… Wah, Lord Batteran is here too.”

Regis mumbled.

Bastian pulled his head back and crossed his arms.
“This is bad. I’m not optimistic about fighting such a huge number of knights.”

“Hmm… They moved faster than I expected. They must have planned in advance for any unexpected incidents.”

“What should we do!?”

“... Well, they probably won’t expect the Marquis to be on this carriage.”

“But she is really prominent right?”
Bastian pointed at the granddaughter. Although the army was approaching, she was still singing cheerfully out of the window.

Regis spoke to her with a voice as gentle as he could manage:

“Erm… Hey, do you know a story like this?”

“Hmm? What is it, Mama!?”

“Mama!? Ah, no… it’s… a story about three bear brothers.”

“Wah, Mr bear!”

An adult woman shouting like a child felt really strange.

He didn’t know the circumstances behind this—— But Regis told his tale gently as if he was narrating a fairy tale for a child.

Beclard’s granddaughter listened with sparkling eyes.

The carriage passed by the army, while the sound of armour clinking reverberated inside the carriage. Some knights were also staring into the carriage too.

Bastian wore his sunglasses, Regis was in women’s clothing as he told a fairy tale to the granddaughter passionately and Beclard wore his hood low, pretending to be asleep.

There were a few bags on the roof of the carriage making screeching sounds.

The White Hare Knights——

Headed towards Beclard’s mansion right through the sieging crowd, chasing them away without attacking.

—— We made it through huh.

Regis exhaled deeply.

The granddaughter tilted her head.

Bastian took off his sunglasses too.

“Phew~... We can go back to the press just like this right?”

“Yes, just as we planned, Mr Claude will interview the Marquis for his testimony, and we will publish a new report. One that isn’t made up… Even so, this report will be a stunning attack.”

“This isn’t just one blow, but an all out attack!”

“I need to let him know that this isn’t an era where he can cover up the truth simply with his authority.”


Beclard was still wearing his hood but quiet sobbing could be heard from underneath. Was it relieve for escaping this danger alive, or grieve for losing his status and most of his wealth?

Regis mumbled:

“... It begins now, I finally have the pieces needed to attack.”

“What about Mr Bear’s story?”

He was forced to continue his story.

Chapter 5 Wedge

The 12th was Monday, one day before the coronation and the day weekly newspaper went on sale.

Almost all the newspapers were singing praises of Prince Latreille.

However, the most prominent and popular paper was Weekly Quarry.

It reported the detailed testimony by Marquis Beclard on what happened on that fateful day. It also listed all the people involved in the assassination who were still in the courts.

There was no physical evidence.

However, the key staff of the late Emperor, the chief chamberlain who supported Prince Latreille was not inside his mansion. This was an indisputable fact.

And of course, news reached Latreille immediately.

Inside his office——

Germaine bowed his head low.

“My deepest apologies. The person who appeared in Marquis Beclard’s mansion seemed to have forged my written orders.”

Germaine’s signature could be seen clearly on the parchment placed on the table.

Instead of the signature, Latreille stared at the content of the orders.

The handwriting was similar, but it was definitely written by someone else.

“After all, compared to my orders, you don’t handle your orders as strictly.”

“I have no excuse.”
“Someone who knew our inner workings and could forge your signature… No, that’s all in the past now. There aren’t too many people who can do that.”

“And it’s a faction that doesn’t welcome my coronation.”
He didn’t say the name out loud, but the image of a certain person appeared clearly in both their minds.

“I finally understand the feeling of dissonance I felt back then, when I asked the knights who carried out the assassination for the details.”
“When the knights entered the tent, he was already dead… and missing his head.”
Germaine said dejectedly. What a miscalculation.

Latreille smirked.

“Fu… a body double huh…”

“I am responsible for all of this. Not just once, but again… I let down Your Highness’ trust…”
“No, that night—— I heard the same report, but what did we do?”

“Eh? W-Well… We did a more thorough search…”

“We didn’t let our guard down. It is impossible to hike through the mountains without equipment and provisions—— That’s what we concluded, so we searched the area centered around the main roads. Since we didn’t find them back then, it means they hiked through the mountains.”

It would take two weeks for the roundabout trip through the mountains.

With the necessary provision, water and hiking gear, it would be a large amount of luggage. It was hard to imagine him preparing all these without attracting the attention of others.

“I-Indeed… We never thought he would target Marquis Beclard.”
“We already made the adequate preparations. One hundred soldiers are garrisoned there. But who would have thought he would forge a written orders in the midst of a commotion?”

“... Ugh.”

“In either case, it was my mistake for letting Beclard live. It’s only natural for him to attack my weak points.”

“I can feel that his aim—— Is to pull me down completely.”

“I won’t let him get his way.”

“Yes, I won’t let him take shots at me so easily either. However, he did got us good this time. How big is the effect of this news spreading?”

Germaine groaned.

“... Some of the commoners criticize this vocally. But I think there are more people who are just confused.”

“What about the nobles?”

“It isn’t clear…”
“Don’t worry, and don’t hide the situation.”

“Ah, no! I don’t mean to hide anything, just that I couldn’t get a hold of their actions. It is very possible that some of the nobles will come seeking for an explanation.”

“... Is there anything else?”

“The Empress is missing.”


She was busying herself with extravagant decors for the coronation earlier, but she had gone missing now.

If Latreille really assassinated the Emperor, then his mother the Empress might be implicated too. It seemed that she planned to flee before the dust settled.

Tomorrow would be the coronation, such a move was meaningless…

Latreille clenched his fist.

“If I can prove my innocence, then everything will be fine right?”

“No matter what others says, my words carry the most weight. No need to panic.”

“Of course!”

“But if the grand nobles betray us, it might result in a civil war. We can’t waste time and troops here.”

“I will strengthen surveillance!”


If Latreille becomes Emperor, he won’t need to worry about factions. Because the entire nation would be under his rule.

However, there were nobles who value morale and tradition over their own interest.

“... Had a wedge been struck into the wall?”


“No, my advantage and my goal remains the same. This is like a journey to a distant land. There would naturally be rain and storms.”

“Even so, we won’t stop advancing.”

“Yes, we have reached the final stretch.”

Latreille nodded.


The Emperor would finally be coronated.

“... No matter what you do, it is already too late.”

The door to his office was knocked.

Germaine replied after confirming with Latreille.


The door opened and a soldier stood at attention and saluted.

“Reporting! The Imperial Fourth Army is sighted on the eastern main road!”

“What? Are they heading towards the capital?”

“They are! There are 500 cavalry as vanguard and 4,000 infantry half a day’s march behind them!”

They weren’t too many.

However, about half of the Fourth Army was despatched to the eastern frontlines. If that unit was mobilized too, that could mean reinforcements.

They were actually marching towards the capital without orders!

“Just what is Argentina thinking!?”

“It’s because of that strategist huh?”

From that incident with the weekly newspaper, that strategist was probably alive.

But that was just speculation.

Then Argentina must have led her army here because she couldn’t accept his death.

—— How childish!

It was frustrating, but he wanted to avoid civil war as much as possible.

He just got the report from Germaine that the nobles movements were unclear.

Aside from the First Army and Imperial Guards, there were also the Noble’s army within the capital. If he couldn’t tell what the commanders were thinking, it would be dangerous to mobilize their units.

If they turned on him, Latreille couldn’t avoid defeat despite having several folds their numbers.

If he arranged the formation such that it was wary of any betrayal, that would be openly declaring his distrust of the commanders.

Latreille clenched his fists tightly.
—— Do we need to start a civil war against a rebel army? Fools. If we lose more people in civil warfare, we won’t be able to stop the invasion of other nations! Just what are they thinking!?

Germaine gasped.

“Your Highness what are your orders!?”

“Sortie! Sortie the First Army!”

“Yes Sir!”

“A knight corps came out of the capital! It’s the First Army’s ‘White Hare Knights’!”

Abidal Evra reported loudly.

Altina nodded and raised a hand.

“All units halt! Form up on this hill!”

Bugles sounded and the horses stopped. The infantry would catch up half a day later.

Under normal circumstances, advancing by matching the pace of the infantry was standard, but Altina’s anxiousness resulted in this unusual march.

“Will they charge us…?”

Eric said quietly.

It was unlikely for the battle to start before any interaction, but he only expressed his uneasiness because of the First Army’s pressure.

Altina placed her hand on the sword hanging on the side of her horse.

“If they come at us, I will kill them all!”
“Hah, haha…”

Eric laughed dryly.

Did she gave a sense of being reliable, or reckless…?

The White Hare Knights was one of the strongest knights corps of the Empire. Be it training, numbers or equipment, the other side had the advantage.

However, she didn’t give off her usual feeling of bravery, but the aura of the strong.

Imperial Year 851, August 12th, evening——

The Fourth Army formed up on the hill to the east. They had 500 cavalry and 4,000 infantry.

To counter, the First Army formed up at the foot of the hill. 1000 cavalry and 10,000 infantry.

Although the First Army had better training, equipment and numbers than the Fourth Army, their victories in the war against High Britannia was well known.

On the eve of the festival, the capital was shrouded in a tense atmosphere.

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